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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Tama County Pitch & Build – January 2017

At the 2017 Q1 Pitch & Build in January 2017, we heard about a home and mobile broadband business which will provide access across rural Iowa, and a housing initiative in Toledo.  

  • Philip Kennedy, chief executive officer of ACREBroadband, spoke about the need for home and mobile broadband access across rural Iowa and their company’s ability to meet those needs.  Joseph Gerke, chief operating officer, and Stacey Stewart, chief marketing officer, were also present to answer questions.  The major broadband carriers primarily serve major cities and highways across the state.  ACREBroadband will provide high speed broadband data focused on agriculture, the rural countryside, and small rural towns.  They will utilize telephone poles in right of ways which will serve businesses, houses, barns, and mobile units in agricultural fields.  Poles will not be more than three miles apart.  They are partnering with Windstream for fiber optics, IBM for cloud infrastructure, Stanley Consultants to place the poles, Nokia for radio equipment, and a confidential carrier for spectrum and roaming.  They will have large and small investors in a grass roots ownership model in a nine-county region across the state.  Tama County is part of Region #1; construction is anticipated to start in the spring of 2017. 
  • Jim Hobart of Hobart Historic Restoration was slated to speak at this Pitch & Build, but was delayed at an earlier meeting, so Heath Kellogg gave a brief summary of their intentions.  They have worked with over a dozen communities in Iowa to rehabilitate historic properties and build new housing.  They are currently renovating an old church they purchased in Toledo and have become interested in the former Juvenile Home property.  With the permission of the State (the current owner), they toured the entire facility with their architects and are creating a detailed plan for re-use, which would be primarily retirement housing with a healthcare component and nursing home in the school building.  They would keep some green space for a community park.   This re-use plan is independent of the plan being prepared by Matrix, the company hired by the State. 
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